Cornwall planning: New houses would cause 'stress and worry' to vulnerable neighbours

An aerial photograph showing the proposed housing development in relation to other properties
An aerial photograph showing the proposed housing development in relation to other properties -Credit:Cornwall Council planning portal

Plans for a housing development in a Cornish village would cause "stress and worry" to vulnerable neighbours, according to the local parish council which has strongly objected to the proposals.

A decision will made next week on an application to build four houses on land at Orchard Meadow in Hatt, near Saltash, near Cornwall Housing accommodation for elderly, disabled and vulnerable people. Cornwall Council's planning department has recommended approval but the matter has been brought before the east sub-area planning committee by local councillor Martin Worth due to the strength of objection locally.

Cllr Worth said: "I feel that I must call it in based on the significant unanimous objections from the parish council and local residents over many years." Planning permission has been granted twice before for four houses on the site, but both consents have now expired.

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A committee report states: "The site is bound on three sides by residential development and is adjacent to a private lane that immediately abuts a playing field. The density and layout of the dwellings would not appear out of context and, as such, it is felt that the proposal would make a positive contribution to Hatt's housing stock."

However, Botus Fleming Parish Council disagrees. It says: "The council's chief area of concern is the access and egress issues for the development bordered by Carlton Villas (a private road owned by Cornwall Housing). The lane is completely unsuitable and insufficient to feed the development or to deal with the increased traffic flow, emergency vehicle access or trucks that would be involved during a period of construction, increasing congestion."

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"The lane has a 'blind corner' and the likely eight additional vehicles entering and leaving on a regular basis will undoubtedly produce a new risk to the existing vulnerable residents. There would be serious access issues for emergency and delivery vehicles. Indeed there have been a series of fires in Carlton Villas over the past two or three years and the fire service have had difficulty in getting their vehicles into the road. Carlton Villas Lane is 'unadopted' and not on the Highways Plan and would incur development costs with road widening and resurfacing works."

The parish council added: "It should also be noted that the eight dwellings in Carlton Villas are used by Cornwall Housing to accommodate elderly, disabled and vulnerable people. At present there are three vulnerable and five disabled/elderly residents in the eight dwellings. Residents of this nature are worthy of special consideration and should not be subjected to the stress and worry that the Orchard Meadow development would bring.

"The current residents of Orchard Meadow strongly objected to the development due to the complete obliteration of their views, the close proximity of the planned dwellings and the sizes of the proposed houses that are considered far too large and overbearing on the small plot for development."

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A number of residents have commented against the development on the council's planning portal.

One villager said: "With access via Orchard Meadow forbidden by the private landowner on numerous occasions, the only route of access to the site is from Carlton Villas. Anybody who has visited the site can see that this road, which legally must have a clear route always maintained for access for existing residents and emergency vehicles, is barely large enough accommodate the vehicle access of current residents let alone additional houses and their guests.

"There will be vehicles backed up, it will be noisy and unsafe. This is a disaster waiting to happen and is irresponsible to propose and shows a blatant disregard for local resident's health and safety and well-being. There will also be an impact on those families often with children that use the playing fields at the top of Orchard Meadow."

Another resident added: "This application ignores the lack of access to the site, Cornwall Housing refused access over their land as unsafe under health and safety. Nothing has changed so surely refusal on health and safety should stand."

The east sub-area planning committee will make a decision at Cornwall Council's offices in Bodmin on Monday (May 13).